Useful Phrases in
Cambodian Language

Impress the Locals and Have Fun!


Cambodian language is called Khmer.

It has the most number of alphabets on earth (74 compared to 26 in English alphabets), and it has its own fonts.

cambodian language font
Official name of Cambodia in Khmer script
(transcripted Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea).
Squiggly lines that unless you learn it seriously, might as well be hieroglyphs from Egypt.

So, does it sound like a hopeless case to learn Khmer (pronounced Khe-my)?

Not really!

Here are some simple phrases that you can memorize before arriving in Cambodia. Knowing a few words of Cambodian language always earns smiles and nods of approval from the local. And hey, usually that way they're extra nice to you, for taking the trouble of learning their language.

So here you go.

(Click on the play button to hear the pronounciation)


Greetings

Hello Suosday     
Goodbye Lea heuy     
How are you? Sok sabai chea tay?     
I'm fine Knhum sok sabai chea tay     
Yes Baat (for man)
Cha (for woman)
No Otay
Thank you Akun     
Thank you very much Akun jann     
Sorry Sohm toh     
                   

Getting to Know


Do you speak English? Teu nak niyeay phea sar anglei tay?     
What is your name? Chhmua ei?     
What is this called in Khmer Nis hauv thameich pheasar khmer?     
Speak slowly Nee yeay yeut yeut     
My name is ... (Arun) Knum chhmua ... (Arun)     
I understand Khnum yol     
I don't understand Khnum ot yol     
How do you say this in Khmer Thar mech chea pheasar khmer?     
Where are you going? Teu nak kampong toev na?     
See you tomorrow Saek chuob knea     


Shopping


How much for this? Teu nis thlay pun mann?     
Expensive Thlaiy     
Market Phsar     

Directions

Please take me to... Sohn york knhum toev...     
Where is Noev ey na     
Slow down (you'll need this one!) Banthoy L'boeun     
Stop here Chhop tee nis     
Turn right Bort sdam     
Turn left Born chhveng     
Go straight Toev trang     

Places

Bank Thorneakea 
Pharmacy Or soth s'than
Toilet Bongkun
Hotel Santhakea
Guesthouse Ph'teah som nak
Embassy S'thantoot

Numbers

1 Muoy     
2 Pee     
3 Bey     
4 Buon     
5 Pram     
6 Pram-muoy     
7 Pram-pee     
8 Pram-bey     
9 Pram Buon     
10 Dorp     

Money/Cambodian Currency

50 Haa-sep     
100 Muoy-roy     
500 Pram-roy     
1000 Muoy-pin     
5000 Pram-pin     
10,000 Muoy-meun     


So in short...

Simple Cambodian phrases are the way to go. You'll have so much fun, and connect with the people better. Of course there's the chance of mis-pronouncing the word, but not to worry, just your efforts alone will please them.

Worse comes to worse, use hand signals, hire a guide, or grab an English speaking Cambodian to help you out . There are increasingly more and more people who can speak basic english. So do this for fun, not because you have to!

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My Wife Is Khmer 
My dear wife is Khmer, and we had to return to the beautiful country of Cambodia to fix her immigration problems. I wish that I could speak the language …

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Can anyone translate a quote for me?

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Where would you like to go next?

Get some Cambodian language learning software and books:

Read more on Khmer language alphabets and origins

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